Date: 8/22/17 1:13 pm
From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...>
Subject: [texbirds] Pictures from the coast last week
Started the day on Thursday taking the sunrise ferry across to Bolivar from
Galveston. Stopped to see if my friends of last winter were back and found
the newly returned black-bellied plover
http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069962

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069961

Joined by least sandpipers

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069963

And a western willet molting into winter plumage in feather order and not
randomly like they normally do

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069964

Looking at websites for unknown birds at this time of year, the commonest
species is the brown-headed cowbird

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069966

They are in heavy molt into more adult feathering and there are lots of
pinfeathers sticking out everywhere

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069970

Groups of feeding birds can easily be id'd by the tails of the feeding
birds sticking up in the air, very few birds do that as a group

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069970

I have only seen 2 least tern chicks this summer. This one was from a
couple of weeks ago and a scan of about 600 least terns had no chicks of
the year that could fly

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070023

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070024

About 100 Wilson's plovers were out on the beach, most resting

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070019

They got disturbed twice when each of the two crested caracaras out on the
beach looked for brunch

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070011

The summering dunlin is fully molted and all new feathers. We rarely see
birds that look like this as very few summer and they molt on the nesting
grounds so have a few thousand miles of wear by the time the reach the UTC

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070012

More and more spoonbills out on the beaches

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070016

Younger pelicans are starting to get breeding plumage.

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069977

A magnificent frigatebird followed the ferry for a good ways

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069984

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069981

Lots of chance to see their aerial abilities

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069979

East beach had a couple of lesser black-backed gulls

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069987

The pool by the jetty had lots of trapped and dead fish resulting in lots
of piracy. One royal tern got a 3 inch fish and 14 other terns chased it.
Turnstones, sanderlings, piping plovers, and several species of herons all
fought for food that was readily available.

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069985

Least sandpipers did not stand a chance

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069986

This piping plover was over on bolivar flats in April

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069988

Lots of western sandpipers had arrived and not really molting yet

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069989

Up on the Texas City Dike the other common bird that is a mystery bird at
this time of year is the European Starling. This one is molting into winter
and adult plumage

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069995

Had my first young of the year peep in a puddle

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069998

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166069997

And a fluffy snowy plover

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070000

A great blue heron handled a large fish. The fish was still flopping when I
came by. It put it down and stabbed it several times

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070001

And then had lots of trouble getting it off the bill. When dead or subdued,
it was down the hatch

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070002

Which took quite a bit of work

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070003

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070004

And gravity finished the job

http://www.pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/166070006

Fewer birds than I thought were out there and the tides were out with the
southwest wind creating good habitat but the food was elsewhere.

--
Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston
<Josephkennedy36...>


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